2021 Sanford & Benedict Chardonnay
95 points James Suckling
Hailing from 50-year-old vines on their own roots, this cuvée is transparent and focused, a portal into the most famed of Santa Rita Hills’ windswept sites. The nose is oceanic, a margarita mix of salty citrus, chalk and baked nuts that meets levity and a lightly baked quality on the palate. The whole affair sings with nerve and acidity but concentration just the same. No wonder the Burgundy-phile in Raj – and those before him – gravitated to this site decades ago. Its unapologetically mineral backbone provides the perfect canvas for a linear, balanced Chardonnay. This bottling shows not just its cool vintage and coastal terroir, but Raj’s 18 years spent studying the most storied place in Santa Barbara County.